Today, when I was on my way back to Brooklyn after skating LES Coleman Skatepark with my new friend Ilene, a man in the Subway said to me: ”you look like a homegirl”. I had no idea of what a homegirl is, but I decided it was something good. I looked it up later and yeah, it was good. According to Urban Dictionary a homegirl is: ”a girl who is a friend to the end no matter what goes down you know SHE GOT YOUR BACK”.
Americans are super friendly, even weird hobo strangers in the subway. Basically since I got here I’ve felt like everyone I met was my homegirl. I know some people say that American friendliness is fake, but even if it is – it is so much better than European unfriendliness.
I made my first American friend on the flight. He started talking to me on the airport because I was wearing my Stars and Stripes-shirt and reading Jack Kerouac’s on the road, like the total freak I am. Then the seat next to mine was free, so after a while he came and sat with me. Being the way I am I always get a little suspicious when strange men wants to befriend me, but this one was genuinely nice. He made sure I got all the way to my Bushwick home. Thank you Rahul.
Who wouldn’t want to befriend this cool traveller?
My first day in the States was monday, I met up with my friend Swede Hurt, who recently moved from Stockholm to New York and plays roller derby with Gotham Allstars. Together with a friend of hers we walked the high line and hung out in Williamsburg. A really nice first day. On the Tuesday we hung out again, had breakfast and went to Five Stride Skate Shop to fix my skates and get her new plates mounted and after that I headed to a skatepark in Chelsea to try aggressive quad skating with Ilene Ching, a woman I have found on the Internet (for this trip I have found so many women/homegirls on the Internet – I love it). Let’s just say that the Pier 62 Skatepark was a little too aggressive to me. I felt dizzy just looking at the skaters there. Ilene and I were the only roller skaters, and apart from us there were one other girl there. She really made an impression on me. Her name was Ramona, she was 20 years old and had just moved to New York from Massachusetts. She wasn’t as good at skateboarding as the other skateboarders there and that is what made her so cool. Because she just went for it. I was standing there thinking ”Oh no, It’s too hard, they would look at me and think I am bad”. Also she seemed very nice and friendly and came up to us and started talking. I wasn’t nearly as brave as her when I was 20, I probably still isn’t.
Ilene shredding in the Pier 62 Skatepark in Chelsea
Since I was still jet lagged on the Wednesday I woke up really early and planned on getting stuff done, but instead of doing anything I just walked around on Manhattan with a really heavy skate bag on my back. Luckily Swede Hurt was there to save me again. We met up and skated along the whole western side of Manhattan. 16 km along the river. Such a great thing to do. I would recommend anyone visiting New York doing that by roller skate, longboard, bike, inline, walking, whatever really. It’s a great way to see the city.
Swede Hurt somewhere on the west side of Manhattan. And me right where we finished our ride, at George Washington Bridge.
After our long skate I headed straight back to Bushwick, repacked my skating bag and went on a three hour long practice with Suburbia Roller Derby. It was so much fun, they were all my homegirls and I came back to my place at midnight completely exhausted and excited. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep so when I got up this morning to move to Williamsburg and go skating in the Lower East Side Coleman Skatepark with Ilene I had probably only slept for three hours.
Practicing starts with Suburbia Roller Derby’s B-team Backyard Bullies.
But my skatepark premiere went pretty good. I even got a bit of air when I jumped. Ilene said that if she wouldn’t have known better she wouldn’t have thought it was my first time :D. At noon the parked filled up with too many dudes on skateboards so we took a stroll in Chinatown, ate really good food and I had bubble tea for the first time of my life. That was an exciting experience.
Tonight I’m going on a roller derby practice with the Long Island Roller Rebels, so I am keeping myself very busy. I’m enjoying it, but I might have planned a little too many things. Maybe I’ll have time to sleep some in Detroit next week.
Lots of love from Vulvo